Marcus Smith Suffers Concussion, Ertz Frustrated

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Marcus Smith suffered a concussion during practice on Friday, the Eagles announced. Jordan Matthews suffered a left knee sprain, but Doug Pederson told SiriusXM that Matthews will just be sore for a few days. Mike Martin (left knee sprain) also left practice early, while Nolan Carroll (ankle) was given the day off.

Zach Ertz, who was also evaluated for a head injury, was cleared, but he said he was “not happy” with how some of his teammates have approached the hitting periods. Ertz was hit low by Blake Countess today and by Rodney McLeod two days ago, while Matthews was hit low by Jalen Mills when he suffered his injury.

“Guys gotta be pros. Rookies coming in, they don’t know what the atmosphere is like, the respect that’s given in practice,” Ertz said. “I think it needs to be addressed, but it is what it is. It’s live football, so that situation is in the game. We got to get ready for it. Obviously, Jordan and I getting hurt today, you don’t want to see that.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Ertz’s Elusive Breakout Year

Zach Ertz. (Jeff Fusco)

Zach Ertz. (Jeff Fusco)

Zach Ertz rolled his eyes and sighed, slightly irritated by yet another question about “breaking out.”

Do you think you’ll finally do so this year? What’s held you back in the past? What would that mean to you?

“Going to the playoffs? I don’t know. Y’all define that,” Ertz said. “I mean, I go out there and do the best I can each and every day. I’m not focused on ‘breaking out,’ I’m focused on being the best I can for my teammates. Catching as many balls [and] making as many good blocks as I possibly can.” Read more »

Eagles All-22 Wake-Up Call: The Texas Concept

Doug Pederson. (Jeff Fusco)

Doug Pederson. (Jeff Fusco)

Sitting at a table full of Eagles beat reporters at the owners meetings in Boca Raton, Fla., Doug Pederson‘s voice heightened more than an hour into the session when he was asked if he’d use Zach Ertz similar to how the Chiefs deployed Travis Kelce.

“Yeah, I do. And I’m glad you brought that up, because I like our tight ends. I like our athleticism there. It’s a good group — great group,” Pederson said three months ago. “The primary tight end, Zach, is athletic [and] young. He’s like Brent [Celek] was when he first came in and a lot like Travis Kelce that way.”

When Pederson called plays for Kansas City last season, he often attempted to get Kelce the ball down the middle of the field on seam-type routes. One West Coast offense staple he liked to use was the Texas concept, which accounted for a few of the Chiefs’ big plays. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Ranking the Assets

Carson Wentz. (Jeff Fusco)

Carson Wentz. (Jeff Fusco)

For your mailbag question to be considered, complete the form at the bottom of this post.

How do you rank the top longterm players on the Eagles? -Terry

NFL teams unexpectedly cut and trade players all of the time, but one thing Howie Roseman has brought to the Eagles this offseason — at least for the near future — is clarity. By giving out twice as much guaranteed money as any other team since the beginning of the calendar year, it’s clear who the team values and wants to build around.

But one of the biggest question marks with Roseman has never been his salary cap management — it’s talent evaluation. So this is an interesting mailbag question to consider, and although the Eagles made a big trade to acquire a guy they think could be a franchise quarterback, they are building around a core group of players who went 7-9 last year and were on a team which often appeared worse than their record suggested.

Is that a nucleus you can win a Super Bowl with? Read more »

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